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28/09/2020
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There’s no doubt 2020 has been a challenging year and COVID-19 has changed the way health care is delivered. In line with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Mornington Peninsula Magazine wanted to share how Rachel Giannakas, left, and Jo Lovelock, the McGrath Breast Care Nurses at The Bays Hospital, have pivoted their service to ensure they can still support people with breast cancer and their families via Telehealth. 

There are currently 151 McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia, who since 2005 have supported almost 90,000 people with breast cancer and their families. This support is available for free and without a doctor’s referral. 

People with breast cancer on the Peninsula and surrounding areas do not need to be a patient of The Bays to receive the care of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse. Instead they can reach out directly to these nurses.  

McGrath Breast Care Nurses support patients in many ways, including attending medical appointments, providing medical support, acting as a point of contact between a patient and their medical team, and decoding medical jargon. Research shows that early access to a breast care nurse within the first week of diagnosis improves the experience and outcomes of a person with breast cancer.

“Many people diagnosed on the Peninsula will have several specialists and hospitals to attend, and I think of myself as an educator and translator to enable people to understand the nuances of their diagnosis,” said Jo. “This means people are empowered to make informed decisions about their treatment. It’s also so rewarding knowing that you can make a difference to people who are going through a really difficult time.”

Rachel and Jo can be contacted directly on 0477 770 360 or email mcgrathbcn@thebays.com.au

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